Just 1 in 4 with HIV have infection under control

By MIKE STOBBE | November 29, 2011 | 12:05 PM EST

ATLANTA (AP) — Health officials say only 1 in 4 Americans with the AIDS virus have the infection under control with medications.

Part of the reason is that about 20 percent of those infected with HIV don't know it. People can be infected with the AIDS virus for years without developing symptoms.

An infection was once considered a death sentence. But medications that have been available for 15 years can reduce the amount of virus to low levels.

However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found only a small fraction of those infected are being successfully treated.

Of the nearly 1.2 million people with the infection, about 40 percent are getting medications regularly. Worse, only 28 percent have the virus under control at low levels.

The CDC report was released Tuesday.